Grey Heron with chick under its wing or is it a tumour? – Part 2

on 23rd September 2012

Our earlier post on the Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) LINK attracted some discussion on whether the lump under its wing is a chick or a tumour. It was generally agreed that it is a tumour.

Subsequently Dr Jean Ho, who is a pathologist, similarly agreed that it is a tumour, “though I cannot claim to be a bird expert.” So she sent the image and writeup to a veterinary surgeon specialising in birds for his opinion.

Dr Chris Jewell replied: “From simply looking at the picture, I would assume that the heron had some kind of laceration. That kind of injury is not uncommon in bird that fly into, for example, telegraph wires. It looks like it’s on the point of the wing, which would give it a bulging appearance. Still, hard to tell just from a 2D photo.”

At the same nature enthusiast KF Yap requested a higher resolution image from Khng Eu Meng, converted the JPG image into TIF and then enhanced the image. His opinion: “The ‘beak’ is matted feathers and the flesh-coloured blob looks like an abnormal growth (left).”

So a tumour it is!

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

2 Responses

  1. With so much polution and carcinogenic agents around our environment I would not be surprise that it could be a cancerous growth …

  2. I am glad this matter is settled. I was both excited and perturbed at the same time. Now, that it is generally accepted to be a tumour, I am sorry for the bird.

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